Westport takes to the big screen


In the 1968 film “The Swimmer,” Burt Lancaster scurries through the backyards of a pristine suburb, stopping for a dip in each swimming pool he passes. The film became famous for its inside view into the relationships and characteristics of suburban towns and for its film location: Westport.

Many residents of Westport don’t realize that they could be living in or near a scene from a famous movie. Noah Yokoi ’16 is one of many students who did not know that films like “The Swimmer” had been filmed in Westport.

“I had no idea any films were made here in Westport,” Yokoi said. “Now I’m just curious to see what movies were made here so I can see what I can recognize.”

“The Swimmer” is not Westport’s only on-screen appearance. Scenes from famous films and television shows like “I Love Lucy,” “Last House on the Left” and “The Stepford Wives” have all been filmed in Westport.

Westport is renowned for its colonial beauty, making it a perfect location for many filmmakers. According to media teacher Jim Honeycutt, many filmmakers seek that sort of quiet landscape that makes great movies.

“Westport is a beautiful shoreline community with magnificent homes,” Honeycutt said. “So you can shoot a Hollywood movie using some of the beautiful homes in the town.”

Staples Players student director Vig Namasivayam ’16 thinks that while Westport may not be the most eventful of towns, “there are some nice spots that aren’t bad for filming every once in a while.”

Besides the shoreline, Westport also has an outstanding downtown area that can make for great movie shots according to Staples Player youth director Isabel Perry ’15.

“I think that Westport is a very bucolic setting with a very sophisticated downtown area,” Perry said. “This provides a lot of diverse shots in a small location.”

Whether it is the beautiful community, the diverse downtown area or the historical significance of the town, Westport holds many qualities that are often sought after when making a movie.

Westport has always been known for it’s picturesque beauty, and for many students, knowing that this has been recognized by directors and movie-goers makes it even better.

“I think that this is really interesting,” Yokoi said. “It’s almost like we live in a movie setting.”